Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Picture Day

I get my head shots done today! Yes, actual professional photos for publicity purposes. Yipee!

Of course my face broke out like a teenager two days ago. But that's why God created concealer, isn't it? I'll just gob the stuff on and hope for the best.

The thing about photos is that we spend exorbitant amounts of time getting ready for them. We put on make-up, fix our hair and select an outfit that gives just the right impression, but then we complain how the picture doesn't look like us. At least that's what I plan to do. It coerces folks into responding by saying, "Oh, sure, it looks just like you!" And that will make me feel good.

I generally believe I look great. I wander through life imagining that if I ever run into Heidi Klum at Kroger or out buying sheep food, folks will just naturally mistake us for sisters. Ms. Klum being the elder, of course.

Understandably, I'm often surprised, then, when confronted by a mirror. No wonder vampires always exude such confidence! They can go around believing they look like whatever the heck they want to look like. Forever! Hmm, I think I'm beginning to see the allure of this sub-genre.

But I don't write vampire novels; I write light, humorous Regencies. (With enough sexy parts to keep them interesting, of course.) And subplots. Boy, do I love subplots!

What would life be without subplots? Dull, two-dimensional and predictable, I think. That's why photos never really capture the full essence of us.

A photograph is just a moment in time, and studio shots like I'm heading for today aren't even natural moments in time. They're fake. They're pictures of moments that never really even happened.

At best a photo is nothing more than a hint at reality. It doesn't capture the subtle shift from one thought to another, the gradual fade from smile to smirk, or the passage of time and the experience of it. Click! Whatever is right now gets digitized and preserved without any record of the context or intent. Poof! With enough concealer, a blond wig and some borrowed clothes, I could actually become Heidi Klum. (All right, I could become two of her.)

But I don't want to be Heidi Klum. Seal is hot, and all that, but I'm me and that's just going to have to be good enough. I will use plenty of concealer and pose in clothing I might not wear every day, but it's still going to be me. At least, it'll be the me who existed for just that tiny fraction of a moment when the photographer pushed the magic button.

Then I can have the rest of my life to ponder that photo and wonder who I really was.

More likely, though, I won't bother with such lofty thoughts. I'll probably be more like, "Why in God's name did I wear that? And what was up with all that concealer!"

3 comments:

Ellen said...

I read the blog- Very well done! I usually dimsiss blogs pretty quickly when people send them to me. Blog authors I've encountered before appear to think that I enjoy reading a bunch of random words thrown together (often without the use of punctuation or capitalization)that discuss nothing in particular. Yours was actually quite entertaining! I look forward to future reading. Congratulations on the manuscript!

Linda Myer said...

Susan,
Big Congrats! Someday I'll be telling people that I know that famous writer, Susan Gee Heino! You go, girl! Linda at the library

Saralee said...

Susan--

Congrats! You're doing just great, as far as I can tell. I loved your story about dress-up day. You are so funny!
Boo-yah, m'dear.

Saralee